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The need to normalize failure


Two Schmidt Science Fellows describe their academic and career failures as they pursued their PhDs. Suggestions are included for how advisors, departments, and institutions can support students to open up about failure, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds.

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Fig. 1: Elvis and Gladys’ shared trajectory during graduate school.

Carl Conway/Springer Nature Limited


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The authors acknowledge financial support from the Schmidt Science Fellows Program by Schmidt Futures, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust.

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Correspondence to Xiangkun Elvis Cao or Gladys Chepkirui Ngetich.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Cao, X.E., Ngetich, G.C. The need to normalize failure. Nat Rev Chem 7, 69–70 (2023).

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